Mikhail Hendricks who made headlines in 2013, during Former US President Barack Obama visit to South Africa, died on Friday.
The then 18-year-old Mitchells Plain teen became an overnight social media sensation thanks to his massive grin during Obama's speech at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Hendricks was doing his fourth year as a law student at Stellenbosch University staying at university residence on campus, Goldfields Residence.
Reports suggest that he died in a suspected suicide.
The university described Hendricks as a brilliant and compassionate leader, who served in various leadership capacities.
Among other things, he was part of the student leadership of Goldfields and worked as an intern at the Stellenbosch University Legal Aid Clinic, where he was doing his practical legal education.
A memorial service is planned for this week.
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This article first appeared on 702 : 'Red Tie Guy' who captured the world's attention during an Obama speech dies